David and Bathsheba –sin, success, and God's plans....
When David saw Bathsheba in the bath, he was an established man of God.
He found out who she was and discovered she was married to someone he knew well, and who worked for him.
She was his temptation.
2 Samuel 11:1 - 3.
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman [was] very beautiful to look upon.
And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
David knew the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ ( Exodus 20.14) so what he did next was undoubtedly sin – he slept with Bathsheba, and got her pregnant;
2 Samuel 11:4 -5 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child
David knew God’s will, and went against it – he put his fleshly desire before the commandment of God
David, the great man from whom Christ was descended was undoubtedly a sinner at this point –
but as Jesus said …
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone (John 8.7)
and as he also said…
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So we can’t judge David unless we ourselves are so pure we have never even looked at the opposite with lust.
Also, Jesus and Paul both pointed out that if we are guilty of any sin, it is just as bad as any other;
Matthew 19:18 -19 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
So, unless you have never succumbed to the temptation to do anything that is against the word of God, you really have no room to judge – you have sinned – we all have.
But I digress, let’s return to the story of David.
David adds sin to sin….
Sin often causes more sin – David, calls for Uriah ( Bathsheba’s husband), demands that he serves him, and conspires to have him killed. He tries to make it look as though he is honouring the man by sending him into battle, but really he is sending him to his death. Thus David adds manslaughter, abuse of power, and deception to his adultery.
Once Satan has a hold, it is easier for him to tempt us into doing more..
2 Samuel 11:6-16 .
And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.11:8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess [of mea] from the king.11:9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from journey? Why they didst thou not go down unto thine house? And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sen it by the hand of Uriah.
And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
God does not protect Uriah, – he dies in the battle, so David gets his own way.
|It LOOKS as though evil has triumphed.
2 Samuel 11:17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
But straight away someone suffers -David’s behaviour has hurt the woman he loves…
2 Samuel 11:26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
David still gains the woman as his wife, but he has upset God, and will pay the price for that;
2 Samuel 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
The marriage itself is fine –she is a widow – the problem is that David is a liar, a cheat, and a murderer, and the child was conceived in an adulterous liaison
(This seems like quite a BIG problem!)
David has apparently got what he wants by doing evil but he has displeased God, and his gain is temporary.
In the following chapter, the prophet Nathan is sent to David to tell him that he has done wrong (2 Samuel 12. 1- 12) and David realises and confesses his sin. (2 Samuel 12.13)
The child, the result of David’s sin, dies. (2 Samuel 12.14). There is no permanent fruit from David’s encounter with a married woman – as a result of their adultery, she loses her husband, and they both lose the child. Sin does not ever result in long term gain. At best, it will give us a temporary gain, which comes at a very high price!
David later repents; he genuinely sees that he has done a terrible thing. This frees him from the cycle of sin. Thankfully God is forgiving. David is now free to move in the way God wishes him to move, and to see benefits from God.
2Samuel 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
As we admit we have done wrong, we repent, and our sin is taken away by God.
David is still married to the same woman, but now they are a legitimate couple. The next child conceived is conceived and born into a marriage that is right in the eyes of God – This child is Solomon, another great man of God, known for his great wisdom.
2Samuel 12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him
As we repent from our sin, God wipes the slate clean - we are free to do great things for God. David’s sin was washed away and he went on to do tremendous things, including writing part of the word of God that we still read today.
But what if David had not had Uriah killed?
Would that mean that he wouldn’t have married Bathsheba? Would it have meant that Solomon would not have been born? Would it have changed the lineage that led to the birth of Christ?
Somehow, I doubt it! God is bigger than that. We just don’t have the power to mess up his plans. Yet it seems that Bathsheba, who was married to someone else, was the right wife for David. She was destined to become Solomon’s mother.
God would have known what David was going to do, but there is no reason to assume that had he not committed adultery, not had the spouse killed, and not lied to cover it up, that this would have ruined God’s plan.
Events could possibly have meant that David and Bathsheba would marry without adultery and murder. Uriah could easily have been killed in battle without David’s intervention. Or just died. Or left.
Or perhaps the lineage would have been the same if David had fathered Solomon with another woman.
These are questions we can ponder, but it is clear that what David did was wrong, and that his sin led only to more sin, death, and misery. It was his trye and honest repentance that put things right again.
It is not ok to get what you want, or even what God wants, by doing wrong. But we are never beyond hope. When we genuinely repent, there is always a way forward.
David was loved by God and is a great biblical example, despite his mistakes. Jesus Christ descended from David. Great men (or women) are not infallible, but they do learn, admit their mistakes, and grow.